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Improvement to 1930s Semi-Detached Properties
This retrofit project follows a ‘low-energy first then low-carbon’ approach by encouraging energy demand-reduction measures first, and then deploying a nominal level of well-proven zero-carbon technologies that can be easily integrated into the urban fabric.
The case study house is a 1930s three bed, semi-detached property (area: 76m2) located in Whitehaven, Cumbria. The house is representative of the numerous other properties on the estate which prove more difficult to let due to their construction and lack of insulation. This makes the building very cold in winter and hot in summer, and very susceptible to condensation. The challenge therefore, for this project is to upgrade the existing fabric and achieve deep cuts of about 69% in CO2 emissions by fabric measures first.
A semi-detached property with unfilled cavity walls is a type widely found in the UK housing stock (about 25%), so the solutions proposed in this project have a wide applicability and scalability, given that there are 860,000 social housing homes with unfilled cavities. More specifically, as per the 2006 Domestic energy fact file, about 11% of UK housing lies in the North-West, a large part of which are un-insulated unfilled cavity homes. Clearly the case study represents a significant part of the social housing stock. Also, Home Group Housing own in excess of 11,000 properties throughout the region and this scheme would be used as a pilot for future regeneration schemes. The proposals are replicable to different types, eras and orientations of low rise housing.
The overall objective is achieved by deploying an energy-efficient and air-tight building fabric with stringent U-values and minimal thermal bridging, leading to a 69% reduction in energy use and emissions over the baseline. Beyond improved efficiency for appliances, lighting and renewable energy systems other unique features of this approach are:
Monitoring is on-going, publicly available results are currently unavailable.
Duration: 2010 - 2013
Funded by: Technology Strategy Board
Project Partners: Roland Hill Ltd. Architects Plus - Carlisle
Clients: Home Group Housing
Funding: Total project value: £170,000 Income to OBU: £52,921